A report prepared by the GOM/FAO/UNDP Chambo Fisheries Research Project
Relationships between the Chambo Stocks of Lakes Malombe and Malawi and the Upper Shire River.
FI:DP/MLW/86/013, Field Document 18, June 1992
M.B.D. Seisay, G.F. Turner and N.P. van Zalinge
For bibliographic purposes this document should be cited as follows:
Seisay, M.B.D., G.F. Turner and N.P. van Zalinge. 1992 Relationships between the Chambo stocks of Lakes Malombe and Malawi and the Upper Shire
GOM/UNDP/FAO Chambo Fisheries Research Project, Malawi. FI:DP/MLW/86/013, Field Document 18: 17p.
This report was prepared during the course of the Chambo Fisheries Research project. The conclusions and recommendations given in the report are those considered appropriate at the time of its preparation.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or constitutional status of any country or sea area, or concerning the delimination of frontiers.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANISATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
Monkey Bay, Malawi, June 1992
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The Relationships between the Chambo Stocks of Lakes Malombe and Malawi and the Upper Shire River
LIST OF CHAMBO FISHERIES RESEARCH REPORTS
Map showing the project's working area and statistical divisions (minor strata).
Experimental fishing, biological studies and analysis of catch and effort returns were used to investigate the extent of the movements of chambo through the Upper Shire River which connects Lakes Malombe and Malawi. Seasonal changes in the numbers of adult and juvenile chambo in the Shire were measured by experimental fishing. Reduced catches of adult fish during the non-breeding season (May-July) indicate that chambo move into the river during their reproductive phase. The same pattern was shown in catches made by the traditional seine net fishery. Kasawala (juvenile chambo) were most abundant during the cold season, probably because they are moving into the main channel of the river from swampy nursery grounds which are drying out. Adult chambo tend to move into Lake Malombe during the breeding season, and into Lake Malawi at the end of the rainy season. One species, O.lidole moves through the river to release fry in Lake Malombe, where it does not spawn. Adults of the other two chambo species in Lake Malombe have different body proportions from the same species in Lake Malawi, which suggests that the two lakes contain separate breeding stocks. Comparison of experimental seining in October 1991 and October 1973, indicates that the number of chambo in the river has drastically declined, and that migration is probably greatly reduced. This is supported by analysis of catch returns from the river since 1976.